Programme 2020

Our 2020 industry Advisory Panel assisted with the development of the programme below.


2 December 2020




Welcome from the MC 

Toby Stevenson – Director, Sapere Research Group






Acceleration through transparency

Unilever believes that transparency about carbon footprint will be an accelerator in the global race to zero emissions. Its ambition is to communicate the carbon footprint of every product it sells. To do this, the organisation has bold plans for suppliers to declare the carbon footprint of all goods and services provided and standardise data collection and information sharing.

Alex McDonaldHead of Sustainable Business & Communications for Australia and New Zealand, Unilever



Leaders’ panel – staying the course

It has been a year of massive economic and social disruption due to Covid-19. The March lockdown did provide a positive outcome – a period of forced emissions reduction. Now, with a new government in place, what does a good plan look like to keep everything on target?

Dr Janet StephensonDirector – Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago
Mike BurrellExecutive Director, Sustainable Business Council
Kiri HannifinGeneral Manager Corporate Affairs, Quality, Safety and Sustainability, Countdown
Tom KellyManager Environmental Initiatives, The Warehouse Group

Toby Stevenson - Director, Sapere Research Group






Commercialising low-carbon demand

New Zealand’s first carbon zero milk, Simply Milk, hit supermarket shelves in July this year. Simply Milk offers customers the opportunity to purchase their everyday milk and know their choice is making a difference to something that’s really important to them. How did Fonterra identify this opportunity and bring the product to market?

Camilla Riddiford – Sustainability Solutions Project Manager, Fonterra
Lara Phillips – Senior Manager Sustainability Solutions, Fonterra






Rethinking your purpose in a circular economy  

What’s missing from your decision making to bake in the behavioural change and direction required to secure your position in a low-emissions economy. Successful businesses are adopting integrated strategic thinking to balance financial, sustainability, social and emissions reduction objectives. Why do you exist and how do you fit in a circular economy?

Brett TomkinsLead Partner – Sustainability, Deloitte



Stimulating institutional investment

Green initiatives, by their nature, return risk profiles that are often viewed unfavourably by institutional investors. What’s the key to de-risking these investments and who can take the lead?

Sean Weaver – CEO & Founder, Ekos



Comply-or-explain:  New climate risk mandatory reporting

The Government’s recent (15 September) announcement that TCFD-based climate risk reporting will become mandatory for listed issuers, large banks, fund managers and insurers from 2023 puts New Zealand out in front globally on climate risk disclosure. This reflects NZ-based (the Productivity Commission) and global concern of a systemic overvaluation of emissions intensive activities.  This session will cover:

  • What TCFD reporting requires
  • Practical examples of TCFD reporting by NZ companies to date  and international best practice
  • How to get ready to TCFD reporting, including common mistakes
  • Links to other related reporting, including Zero Carbon Amendment Act and other existing ESG reporting frameworks
  • Opportunities for engagement with Government in 2020/2021

Alana Lampitt – Senior Associate (Environmental, Planning and Resource Management), Chapman Tripp
Nicola Swan – Senior Associate (Litigation and Dispute Resolution), Chapman Tripp






Roundtables and networking sessions

Pre-booked deep dive small group roundtable sessions run via Zoom breakout rooms and group networking chat using the online events platform vFAIRS.

    Carbon financing - The Role of Forests in Net Zero

    The ‘Net’ in net zero means carbon offsetting, which will inevitably be part of the climate change mitigation equation for decades to come. This is because getting to zero through in-house emissions abatement alone is typically either impossible, or prohibitively expensive. The key is to not use offsetting as a “get out of jail free” card, but instead see it as an integral part of the net zero puzzle and aligned with ambitious emission reductions.

    There is a lot of debate, however, about the role of forests in offsetting, including how permanent the carbon benefits will be, how to avoid negative impacts, and how to maximise the social, ecological and climate change adaptation co-benefits rather than a narrow focus on industrial plantations.This roundtable session will examine the role of forest offsets by exploring how offsetting can:

    • Maximise co-benefits
    • Minimise non-permanence risk
    • Be integrated with non-forest offsets
    • Be delivered strategically at least cost

    Ekos is an international non-profit enterprise that develops, pilots and scales up innovative approaches to financing a sustainable future.

    Sean WeaverCEO & Founder, Ekos

    Choosing your approach

    Proxima offers specialist sustainability and impact consulting services in a way that builds the capability and confidence of our clients. That’s how we help organisations achieve their full potential to create a future that is economically inclusive, socially just and environmentally restorative.

    Stefan Rüegg – Executive Director, Proxima

    Taking action

    Many businesses understand that they need to make changes, but don’t know what to do or how to do it. Join Jeff Smit of DETA Consulting to discuss what others are doing, the pathways that may be available to you, and have a round table discussion to learn from those making changes. DETA Consulting (DETA) is a young, dynamic and responsive organisation working with some of Australasia’s largest businesses to identify, develop and deliver optimisation services.

    Born out of carbon management and energy efficiency, DETA deliver services across the project spectrum from business cases, to detailed design, through to project delivery. Essentially, we provide professional services to optimise business processes, drive improved performance and deliver lasting business value.

    Jeff Smit Director, DETA Consulting

    Inspiring innovation for climate action

    Simply Energy | #changematters workshops

    It’s no secret that innovation is at the heart of our ability to reduce emissions and address climate change. But how do you take a complex problem like climate change, and break it down in a way that inspires your people to make a difference?

    At Simply Energy we believe that with the right environment and approach, everyone has the potential to generate ideas, and that the best ideas come from working together.

    If you’re wanting to gain momentum on your journey to reduce emissions and inspire your people to join you, join us for a round table session where we’ll share how our #changematters workshops can support you to approach the complex challenge of climate change differently.

    You’ll get a taster of what’s involved, and we’ll discuss how the workshops can help you to get buy-in, encourage an innovative mindset, inspire idea generation, and help you make a positive contribution to a Net Zero Emissions New Zealand.

    James Carberry Head of Sustainable Opportunities, Simply Energy
    Sarah Williams Innovation and Improvement Lead, Simply Energy

    Managing supply chain emissions

    For most organisations, 40% of their carbon emissions are generated from their indirect activities and resulting emission sources (scope 3) impacts. For some non-manufacturing businesses, this number sometimes goes up to 90%!

    At this interactive workshop, Carbon expert from Toitū Envirocare – Ronja Lidenhammar will go over actionable tactics to help organisations address supply chain engagement and impacts.

    • How supply chain carbon footprinting works
    • How to effectively engage your suppliers and customers to get the data you need
    • What you can do with this data to take meaningful climate action
    • Tools and tips to help make this process easy and efficient for everyone

    Ronja Lidenhammar – Technical Account Manager, Toitū Envirocare


    Integrating emissions reduction into BAU for local government


    Maria Ioannou, who established the Dunedin City Council's climate change work programme, will lead a discussion about integrating emissions reduction into BAU and core processes in local government.

    Maria Ioannou Consultant





    EECA and Co-investment

    EECA stands for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority who purpose is to mobilise New Zealanders to be world leaders in clean and clever energy use.  EECA works to create positive change across systems using the three important levers of Regulating, Motivating and Co-investing.

    A new $69m co-investment fund was launched on Wednesday 11 November by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Energy and Resources, Megan Woods, called the “Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry” (or “GIDI”). It’s a partnership between Government and business to accelerate the decarbonisation of industrial process heat and contribute to the COVID-19 recovery by stimulating the domestic economy and supporting employment. EECA administers the GIDI fund through a contestable process that is open to NZ- based private sector businesses who have committed to decarbonising their business and industrial processes. Eligible projects considered for grant funding are those that involve decarbonising industrial process hear through energy efficiency, technology innovation (commercialised) and fuel switching (where they directly reduce the use of fossil fuels).  Grants can also include support for electricity network upgrades where they directly enable an electrification project. The first application round of a minimum of $15m, commenced on 11 November and the deadline for project proposals is 14 December.  Applications can be made via the Genless website and decisions on the first round will be made early in the New Year. 

    Anna Shaw Manager Business Portfolio, Investment and Engagement, EECA who partners with large energy user clients to deliver continuous improvements in their energy and emissions productivity.  Anna also manages the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (or “GIDI”) Fund, within the Business Portfolio at EECA.





    Low emission vehicles contestable fund – learnings

    EECA supports early and innovative investment in promoting, enabling and/or accelerating the uptake of electric and other low-emission vehicles in New Zealand. After nine rounds of investment and de-risking low-emission vehicle use, what’s the learning and what needs to happen next?

    Richard Briggs - Manager Transport Portfolio, EECA



    Hydrogen for the heavies

    With a sound technical and commercial pathway and committed partners, what is required to make hydrogen fuelled heavy transport a reality?

    Dan KahnChief Technology Officer, Hiringa Energy





    The pathway to zero carbon buildings

    Insights on reducing emissions for the property and construction industry, the pathway to zero carbon and the strategic decisions made around materials, sustainability and efficiency.

    Andrew EaglesChief Executive, New Zealand Green Building Council





    It’s full steam ahead for Nature’s Flame

    Together with Nature’s Flame, Contact Energy share how they supported the sustainable wood pellet manufacturer to convert its Taupō-based operations to run on geothermal heat. Join this presentation to hear more about what was involved, and the wide-ranging benefits Nature’s Flame enjoys from being able to run their plant at full capacity.

    John Goodwin Operations Manager, Nature’s Flame
    Craig Stephenson – Commercial Development Manager, Contact Energy








    SPERA – novel hydrogen storage and transport technology from Chiyoda Corporation

    World-leading LNG plant contractor Chiyoda Corporation introduces their proprietary SPERA (Latin = ‘hope’) for right-sized hydrogen storage and transport in New Zealand”. “Green hydrogen stored and distributed as SPERA enables re-use of existing infrastructure, long-term low-cost energy storage to smooth intermittent renewables, decarbonisation of NZ domestic sectors to achieve net zero carbon emissions and dry year risk mitigation – while building infrastructural support for a new export industry.

    Andrew TanPresident & CEO for Oceania, Chiyoda



    Panel: Procuring the skills necessary for a net-zero future

    Both new and existing skills are required in the workforce that will deliver a net-zero future. So, how will these skills be taught, what are they and who needs to have them? Joining the panel conversation on "procuring the skills necessary for a net-zero future" are representatives from organisations researching the problem and offering solutions:

    Dr Ellie Khaghani – Energy Lead/Tutor for Diploma in Engineering – Mechanical, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT)
    Rob Murray-Leach – Head of Policy, Energy Efficiency Council (Australia)
    Dr Mike Hopkins – Chief Executive Officer, Carbon and Energy Professionals New Zealand

    Toby Stevenson - Director, Sapere Research Group

    In 2019 we heard from Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) chief executive John Snook, who highlighted the need for an agile training approach, potentially delivered in small blocks online or on the job. It will be fascinating to see what WITT have discovered since then.



    The Carbon Budget – What will it mean for you?

    • Where are the opportunities to accelerate the transition to emissions reduction
    • Where is the nexus between mitigation and adaptation?

    Dr Rod CarrChair, Climate Change Commission



    Wrap-up and close



    End of the workshop